Bobbing Around

Volume Ten, Number Five
February, 2011

Bob Rich's (organic green) rave

bobswriting.com/  anxietyanddepression-help.com/  mudsmith.net/  other issues

*About Bobbing Around
  subscribe/unsubscribe
  guidelines for contributions
*Responses to past issues
  On sexual abusers
*Politics
  Letter to the Premier
  Nuclear Energy Suffers Another Big Blow, by Harvey Wasserman
*Environment
  Greening Brooklyn
  Food prices rising
  Swapping to save the future, by Melissa Breyer
*Health
  Meditation heals, by Mary Jaksch
*Deeper issues
  The Bucky Starts Here, from Steve Bhaerman
  Muslims saving Jews, by Safa S.
  Brain sync, from Andy Coghlan
*Psychology
  My job's driving me crazy
  I am a sociopath
  Should I tell my husband?
  Those who love me are killing me
*For writers
  Vivid writing
  Marketing to Bookstores, by Elizabeth Burton
*What my friends want you to know
  Help with some environmental psychology research
  10 years to do it: new book from Michael Larocca
  Bainstorming
  Ecopsychology journal, from Mary Ann Liebert
  Carolyn at free online conference
*Reviews
  Green Deen, by Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, reviewed by Safa S
  Love For No Reason by Marci Shimoff, reviewed by Steve Bhaerman
*Have a laugh
  A law against farting?

How much should an e-book cost?

   I have been involved with electronic books since 1999. My friends and I have been working hard to introduce them to the world, largely for environmental and cost reasons.

   Now, at last, mainstream publishing has discovered them, but as usual, greed is the rule. Many aspects of producing and selling a book are constant, regardless of format, but other aspects are much cheaper when torturing electrons rather than eating dead trees. Therefore, the cost to the customer should reflect this saving.

   It doesn't, and people are complaining.

   A recent survey of readers has shown that $5 is considered to be a reasonable price for an electronic book. Therefore, I have decided to reduce my prices from a standard $10 to $5. Only, changing all the information on my web pages will take time.

   Readers of Bobbing Around can get in now. Email me (link at the top) and request any of my electronic titles, which are listed at http://bobswriting.com/bookbuy.html and the price to you will be $5 right now.


   Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. No part of it may be reproduced in any form, at any venue, without the express permission of the publisher (ME!) and the author if that is another person. You may forward the entire magazine to anyone else.


I am responsible for anything I have written. However, where I reproduce contributions from other people, I do not necessarily endorse their opinions. I may or may not agree with them, but give them the courtesy of a forum.


   "Death is an illusion. Life is an illusion. You and I as individual, ongoing entities are illusions. There just is the One, and we're all parts of It. The purpose of the illusion of life is to allow the One to grow by having the illusion of your eternal spirit to learn Lessons."

Pip Lipkin

Responses to past issues

On sexual abusers

Dear Bob,

   Just a note to say thank you for sending your "Bobbing Around", I read it and enjoyed it. Fav.: story about Cole's activism, writing tips.

   One thing you said I had a concern about, which is telling someone who feels guilty about fondling a child when they were a teenager not to contact the (now grown up) victim for reparations. I work with sex addicts and formerly with convicted sex offenders, and find this population rife with such stories in their background. I often see that what a person describes as "fondling" may, upon further inquiry, end up as something quite a bit more involved. I find that often a direct amends is necessary to resolve the guilt; to ensure that the person is now OK emotionally and if not, to offer assistance to pay for their reparative therapy. With good planning (often with a therapist's help), an approach can be kind and gentle and a preliminary encounter can yield further info as to whether the person recalls the abuse with a general question referring to it, i.e., "You know, when you were a girl and I was babysitting you, I didn't care for you the way I should have. Do you remember that?" Taking full accountability for such an action can then free up trapped other feelings about the teen not being protected as a kid, educated as a teen, and such actions can even "unbury" a suppressed memory of their own abuse that they were reenacting, or at least a deeper reality of it.

My two cents.
Best to you!
Staci

Thanks for this, Staci. The reason for my advice is that I have come across several people who were functioning well, perfectly normal. Then they found out they had been sexually abused in infancy, and their wellbeing was shattered. Various issues were: anger and resentment, even hate; something like a self-fulfilling prophecy of acting damaged once they believed themselves to be; in one case, a belief that was resistant to change that as a sexually abused person, he was bound to sexually abuse his own child.

   So, the rationale is don't fix what may not be broken.

   The perpetrator can make amends in other ways. However, I do acknowledge the wisdom of your experience.

:)
Bob

Hi Bob,

   I certainly can understand that experiences like yours would inform your caution. Sounds like common early reactions to such painful news in people new to therapy. Were you able to reassure them, educate them, and offer them support to work through their natural grief in healthy ways?

   I believe the body remembers everything, and that the unhealed trauma is in some way already impacting their lives, albeit unconsciously. Bringing it to consciousness, supporting people to get educated and work through their grief--using bodywork techniques as indicated (I refer to cranial-sacral, and conduct Lifespan Integration, www.lifespanintegration.com), is the direction I offer my clients. However, not everyone seeks such "healing" and abuse victims ought to have a choice as to whether or not to open such Pandora's Boxes. The perpetrator seeking professional help, and if supported, approaching their victim with a general request for amends seems essential. It would be up to the professional, after conducting a thorough assessment of the unique circumstances, to determine if the perpetrator was safe to approach their (now adult) victim. If so, the victim declining is their right, but I think in most cases they ought to have a choice.

Best,
Staci


Politics

Letter to the Premier
Nuclear Energy Suffers Another Big Blow by Harvey Wasserman

Letter to the Premier

I wrote the following to the Premier of Queensland during the recent devastating floods. Of course, since then the worst cyclone (hurricane) ever has caused even more damage. My argument applies to that as well: we can expect future cyclones to get stronger, and to reach further south.

The Hon. Anna Bligh
Premier of Queensland

Dear Ms Bligh,

   The record floods are a major human and economic disaster. Once the process of recovery begins, we need to do our best to minimise similar damage in the future.

   All statements by politicians and others have treated this occurrence as unusual, one-off, unprecedented. Instead, we must look on what happened this year as an indicator of the future.

   Until recently, past climatic/weather events could be taken as predictors of what we can expect. With accelerating climate change, this is no longer the case. If you want to predict future flood levels, don't look at past averages, but add a bit to the worst that has happened.

   We are told that repairs will cost billions of dollars. If we simply rebuild what was there before, these billions of dollars will be wasted. Instead, we must change the way we relate human activities to the rivers, and rebuild in a way that will minimise the damage that will be caused by future, even higher floods.

   Worse floods will come. The question is not if, but when.

Sincerely,
Bob Rich, PhD.


Nuclear Energy Suffers Another Big Blow
by Harvey Wasserman

   The atomic energy industry has suffered another astonishing defeat. Because of it, 2010 again left the "nuclear renaissance" in the Dark Age that defines the technology. But an Armageddon-style battle looms in Congress.

   The push to build new nuclear plants depends now, as always, on federal subsidies. Fifty-three years after the first commercial reactor opened at Shippingport, Pennsylvania, no private funders will step forward to pay for a "new generation" of nukes.

   So the industry remains mired in unsolved waste problems, disturbing vulnerability to terror and error, uninsured liability in case of a major catastrophe, and unapproved new design proposals.

   Two new reactor construction projects in Europe -- one in Finland and the other at Flamanville, France -- are sinking in gargantuan cost overruns and multi-year delays. To financiers and energy experts worldwide, it's a clear indicator the "rebirth" of this failed technology is a hopeless quagmire.

   Meanwhile the 104 reactors currently licensed in the US are leaking radiation and are under escalating grassroots attack. Vermont's new governor, Peter Shumlin, is committed to shutting the Yankee plant there, and public demands to close New York's Indian Point and Oyster Creek, New Jersey, among others, have reached fever pitch.

   Most importantly, advances in green technologies are leaving atomic power in the dust. Numerous new studies now show it is significantly cheaper to build new generating capacity with photovoltaics, wind and other renewable Solartopian sources than to go nuclear (http://nukefree.org/energy-information-administration-nuke-costs-rise-while-solar-falls). That gap will only grow in the coming years.

   But Barack Obama proposed some $36 billion in new nuke loan guarantees to add to $18.5 billion set aside by the Bush Administration. Earlier this year he handed $8.33 billion of that to a Georgia utility that broke ground on two new nukes at the Vogtle site, where two old, trouble-plagued reactors still operate.

   The nukes are being built in Georgia -- along with two more in South Carolina -- because ratepayers are being forced to foot the bill as construction proceeds. The company's returns are guaranteed even if the reactors never operate. Georgia has already suffered crippling rate hikes of $1 billion and more to pay for a construction project likely to wind up as little more than a moribund mausoleum.

   Nonetheless, amidst a major economic crisis, the White House and its pro-nuke allies have been pushing hard to fund still more of these radioactive boondoggles. As Congress wound down this fall, the Administration inserted $7 billion in new loan guarantees into the first Continuing Resolution meant to fund the government on an interim basis. That CR was abandoned for a larger Ominbus Budget proposal, into which $8 billion for new nukes was stuck. But grassroots activists from around the nation flooded Congress and White House with at least 15,000 calls and letters. Amidst the chaos of the lame duck session, the Omnibus bill fell by the wayside. Yet another CR emerged, this one stripped of earmarks -- including all money for new nuke guarantees.

   Thus the industry was once again shut out. In the past decade it has spent more than $640 million lobbying for federal handouts.

   But a vastly underfunded grassroots movement has held its own. In 2007 the industry tried to gouge out $50 billion in new guarantees, but was beaten back by a national campaign (www.nukefree.org) that continues to rage.

   The industry will surely return with its money guns blazing. A far more conservative Congress is here, and the industry will pour its usual unlimited steam of lucre into legislative coffers. The "renaissance" is nothing if not a cash cow for Congressional candidates and the White House.

   But, says Michael Mariotte of the Nuclear Information & Resources Service, "Once again, taxpayers have been spared the expense of bailing out the wealthy, multinational nuclear power industry. But the nuclear lobbyists will be back next session, hat-in-hand, even while distributing campaign checks to their allies."

   Nonetheless, he adds, the industry "may have missed its moment. It will become increasingly difficult for it to justify spending increases when all indications are that the new Congress will be focused on spending cuts."

Harvey Wasserman is one of the founders of www.nukefree.org, a courageous and effective organisation for saving us from the nuclear nightmare. They have demonstrated on their site that we can do cheaper and better with sustainable energy than with nuclear.


Environment

Greening Brooklyn
Food prices rising
Swapping to save the future by Melissa Breyer

Greening Brooklyn

   The heart of New York has not historically been known for environmental sanity, but builder Gennaro Brooks-Church is setting this right. If you live there, you may find it worthwhile to check out his services. And if not, it can inspire you do the same wherever you live, particularly in inner-city areas.

http://ecobrooklyn.com/about/

Food prices rising

   The United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) yesterday released the bad news: food prices are the highest they've ever been. And they're going to get higher.

   The UN releases an annual index which calculates prices based on the current markets of 55 products worldwide, including rice, milk, wheat, sugar and cheese. This index reached an all-time high of 214.7 in December of 2010, surpassing the previous high of 213.5 set in June of 2008 when a global food crisis sparked riots in countries such as Somalia and Haiti -- where the population turned to eating mud for sustenance.

   Several factors have led to the recent price spikes, including poor recent grain crops in Canada, Russia and the Ukraine; poor soybean crops due to drought in Argentina; and flooding affecting wheat crops in Australia. Corn prices have also risen, partially due to the increasing diverson of corn crops to biofuels rather than food. Prices could continue to rise, particularly after the recent flooding in Australia and its looming effect on sugar prices -- already at record levels.

http://www.care2.com/causes/real-food/blog/food-costs-more-than-it-ever-has-and-its-going-higher/

   It should be perfectly obvious that this is a direct consequence of climate change. Russian wheat fields burned; Australian banana plantations drowned, etc. etc.


Swapping to save the future
by Melissa Breyer

   Do you really need that specialized power tool forever, or just for the day? Should you invest in a full set of camping equipment, even if you're not sure your family will enjoy it? Isn't there someone out there who wants to trade those size 8 ice skates for a size 9?

   If you ever find yourself pondering questions like this, welcome to collaborative consumption -- a concept of organized sharing and swapping. Although peer-to-peer sharing may have been a tenet in communities of lore, our modern this-is-mine culture has taken us away from what seems like such practical common sense. But times, they are a-changin'.

   Privately-held clothing and book swaps have become a very practical social pastime among friends, but now the premise is spreading into more official capacities. Sites and services are popping up to facilitate the simple concept: You can get what you need without buying it. The arrangements are manifested in a number of ways. SnapGoods, for instance, helps to connect people with stuff to lend with people who wish to borrow; while Neighborhood Fruit lets people swap garden bounty or distribute fruit harvested from public trees. Some places arrange rentals, some create swaps, while others create communities of sharers.

   It's a brilliant model of sustainability -- no new stuff to clutter the landfill, yay! -- but according to an article in Time magazine, there is a beneficial emotional aspect as well. Not only in the community-building, but in that the lending element requires trust, and being trusted feels good. Paul Zak, founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University, has shown that people get a spike of the pleasant neurotransmitter oxytocin when they're entrusted with another person's goods. "We're gregariously social creatures, and one way we can exhibit that sociability is by sharing our things," he says.

   With a little research, you can find pretty much anything, there are even sites that allow you to borrow cars. But perhaps my favorite are those that are charity-inspired, such as Swap for Good. This site helps people set up clothing swaps and collect donations from participants (who are saving money by swapping not shopping) to give to domestic-violence shelters and other organizations.

   Collaborative consumption is at once so simple, yet so revolutionary. It replaces "beg, steal and borrow" with "lend, share and swap." It's green, the sense of community feels great, and that little rush of oxytocin doesn't hurt either.

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/dont-buy-lend-swap-share-borrow.html

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living. She is the Senior Editor for Care2 Healthy and Green Living, and the co-author of True Food (National Geographic). She has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine.


Health

Meditation heals by Mary Jaksch

Meditation heals
by Mary Jaksch

   One of the researchers who have looked deeply at healing and meditation is Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, the Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn has published many papers on the benefits of meditation. His book on using meditation for chronic pain conditions is called Full Catastrophe Living.

   Read below what Kabat-Zinn's research revealed:

Healing the body

   Here is an overview of the reduction of symptoms in various diseases after regular practice of meditation:

   In one study, Professor Kabat-Zinn reported that the skin lesions of psoriasis patients who listened to meditation tapes cleared up four times faster than those who did not.

   Jon Kabat-Zinn said about these findings: "The implication is that the mind can actually enhance the healing process by a factor of four, and if people need fewer treatments, it costs less."

Other physiological benefits of meditation

   There is an interesting healing method that the 17th century Japanese Zen Master Hakuin used in order to cure a life-threatening illness. He suggested placing an imaginary ball of soft butter on one's head. And then visualize it melting and flowing down the body. Hakuin said:

   Gradually this feeling flows downward: the shoulders, elbow, chest, diaphragm, lungs, liver, stomach, backbone, and buttocks. This sensation is felt throughout the body, and it circulates moving downward, warming the legs, until it reaches soles of the feet, where it stops.

   Hakuin's healing practice is very much like doing a body meditation or body scan, in which one moves the warm light of awareness through the body.

Psychological benefits of meditation

   One thing can be said for sure: meditation is one of the most potent medical interventions. And that's not even taking into account the spiritual benefits of meditation that can transform our life!

Mary is passionate about supporting people who want to lead a happier and more meaningful life. She is a Zen master, author, and psychotherapist who loves dancing tango! http://meditation-music.surnsoul.com/


Deeper Issues

The Bucky Starts Here: A Call to Gather Under One Big Intent from Steve Bhaerman
Muslims saving Jews by Safa S.
Brain sync from Andy Coghlan

The Bucky Starts Here: A Call to Gather Under One Big Intent
from Steve Bhaerman

Dear Friends and Co-Hearts...

   No matter how you look at it, these are extraordinary times where we seem to face crisis at every turn. Interestingly, the word "crisis" first came into the English language in a translation of Chauliac's Grande Chirurgie (Major Surgery) and it meant "the turning point in a disease."

   Well folks, the body politic -- and indeed the biosphere -- is one sick puppy. We are at a pivotal moment where things can take a turn for the worse, or the better. Looking at the magnitude of the crises, it becomes clear that -- to paraphrase Einstein -- these problems cannot be solved at the same level they were created. Inside-the-box economic fixes aren't fixing anything, nor can technological fixes alone repair the excesses of technology.

   Meanwhile, we have an intransigent system invested in remaining the same, doing everything it can do to keep people asleep -- or roused up in anger against the wrong enemy. It really doesn't look good for the home team. In fact, it looks more and more like the world needs a miracle.

A Template for Miracles?

   So, where do we go to find a template for miracles? Well, we can begin with the phenomenon called spontaneous remission. We read about these seemingly anomalous healings all the time, or perhaps we know someone who has had one. One day, the individual is on death's door with a "fatal illness." The next day, they are inexplicably symptom free. This kind of miraculous change that cannot be explained through ordinary science is often deemed a Divine intervention, part of the unknowable mystery.

   But there might be more to it.

   Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona, author of Coyote Medicine, tells us that spontaneous remission is often preceded by "a change of story." In other words, our feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and the meaning we attribute to our situation may actually change the "field" in such a way that it impacts our physical reality. Can this also be true of our collective story and beliefs, and our collective reality? That's what my book with Bruce Lipton, Spontaneous Evolution, is all about. As we say in the book:

   The spontaneous remission we seek appears to be contingent upon a spontaneous re-missioning of civilization through which we change our mission from one based on survival of the individual to one that encompasses survival of the species.

   In other words, we must spontaneously change our mission from dominate-or-be-dominated to thrival of all. Can it be done? We don't know, but that's what we're playing the game to find out.

The World Game or the End-of-the-World Game: The Choice Is Ours

   And if you're wondering what the game is, consider the one proposed by R. Buckminster Fuller nearly 50 years ago. He called his game The World Game, and if played successfully, everyone can win. The challenge:

   "To make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone."

   Now, that's a game! Forget reality TV, folks, we've got reality, a once-in-many-lifetimes hero's journey with the entire species in the hero's role. Bucky Fuller, who also coined the term "Spaceship Earth," predicted that the 50-year period beginning in 1975 would be about aligning the planetary resources to insure abundance for all. Now, Bucky was a visionary, but he was also a scientist and mathematician. So he knew it could be done. And he knew his visionary call for mass functionality would be termed "utopian," which is why he titled one of his other books, Utopia or Oblivion.

   "Utopia," which means "nowhere" is generally seen as the impossible dream, and the way to get there is... oh, that's right, you can't get there from here. But if we reframe utopia as health, harmony and sanity, then it becomes a little easier to imagine. We have healthy cells, healthy individuals, and healthy families. We even have some healthy communities and healthy organizations. What creates that field of health? How can we bring more of that to bear on more aspects of our lives? How can we create a healthier world?

   Bucky Fuller's audacious challenge is pointing the way.

   The possibility of a more loving, healthy and functional world is what drove Bruce Lipton and me to write Spontaneous Evolution, and it is what fuels this newly-launched blog. There are hundreds of thousands of well-meaning organizations focused on one specific aspect of creating a healthier, happier world. There are tens of millions of humans dedicated to countless causes that promote one or more of these worthy goals.

   What has been missing up until now is a movement, a singular focus and mission, an over-arching, under-truthing idea that unites all the ideas, organizations and individuals into a formidable power that creates critical mass and critical momentum.

   And that is why we are calling forth individuals, communities, organizations, companies who share this passion for a loving, functional world to gather "under one big intent," to play a game worth playing. Our children's children, and our grandparents' grandparents are rooting for us.

   Here, once again, is Buckminster Fuller's challenge:

   "To make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone."

   Are you inspired?

   The Bucky starts here. http://notesfromthetrailblog.com/?p=28


Muslims saving Jews
by Safa S.

   "The story of Albania's Muslims, and what they did during World War II, is one of the great untold stories of the world." In recent years, these private heroisms have been revitalized through the lens of Jewish-American photographer Norman H. Gershman and his collected images and oral histories that make up the traveling portrait exhibit called Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews During World War II, recently on display in New York's Soho Photo Gallery.

   The story is quite an extraordinary one. When Hitler's troops began invading the Balkan States in the early 1940s, Muslims across Albania took an estimated 2,000 Jewish refugees into their homes en masse and welcomed them not as refugees, but as guests. They disguised these Jews as Muslims, took them to mosque, called them Muslim names, gave them Muslim passports, hid them when they needed to, and then ferried them to inaccessible mountain hamlets. "In fact, Albania is the only Nazi-occupied country that sheltered Jews," says Gershman. The Jewish population in Albania grew by ten-fold during World War II, and it became the only country in occupied Europe to have more Jews at the end of the war than at the beginning. Records from the International School for Holocaust Studies show that not one Albanian Jew or any of the other thousands of refugees were given up to the Nazis by Albanian Muslims. "They did this in the name of their religion," Gershman said. "They absolutely had no prejudice whatsoever."

   That is because these Muslims held themselves accountable to what Albanians call Besa, which is still upheld as the highest ethical code in the country. "Besa is a code of honor deeply rooted in Albanian culture and incorporated in the faith of Albanian Muslims," the gallery explained in the show's press release. "It dictates a moral behavior so absolute that non-adherence brings shame and dishonor to oneself and one's family. Besa demands that one take responsibility for the lives of others in their time of need. This Islamic behavior of compassion and mercy celebrates the sanctity of life and a view of the other -- the stranger -- as one's own close family member."

   "Most remarkably, this was all done with the consent and support of the entire country. Thousands of Jews, hidden in plain sight -- everyone knew -- and no one told."

   And no one told for a long time "because of the shutters that went down on Albania so soon after 1945 and the draconian Communist regime," Holocaust historian Deborah Dwork told Jim Axelrod on CBS's Sunday Morning. "For the next half century, Albania was completely cut off from everyone, even from other Communist regime countries. And by the time the shutters lifted, what happened half a century ago was not so urgent as people's everyday needs right then and there."

   "When I first learned of the World War II rescue of Jews in Muslim Albania and Kosovo, my reaction was visceral," Gershman said, who learned about the story from a member of Israel's Yad Vashem, a memorial dedicated to Jewish victims of the Holocaust. "Muslims who saved Jews? I must record this forgotten event with my camera and tell the story through the various family histories I was to meet. As a Jew and a Sufi, my spiritual connect with the beauty of Islam and Judaism is seamless."

http://www.care2.com/causes/human-rights/blog/besa-muslims-who-saved-jews-during-world-war-ii-now-on-exhibit-in-nyc/


Brain sync
from Andy Coghlan

   There's now scientific backing for the old adage that when two people "click" in conversation, they have a meeting of minds. The evidence comes from fMRI scans of 11 people's brains as they listened to a woman recounting a story.

   The scans showed that the listeners' brain patterns tracked those of the storyteller almost exactly, though trailed 1 to 3 seconds behind. But in some listeners, brain patterns even preceded those of the storyteller.

   "We found that the participants' brains became intimately coupled during the course of the 'conversation', with the responses in the listener's brain mirroring those in the speaker's," says Uri Hasson of Princeton University.

   Hasson's team monitored the strength of this coupling by measuring the extent of the pattern overlap. Listeners with the best overlap were also judged to be the best at retelling the tale. "The more similar our brain patterns during a conversation, the better we understand each other," Hasson concludes.

   There was no match between the brain patterns of the storyteller and the listeners, however, when they heard the same story in Russian, which they could not understand.

   Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1008662107


Psychology

My job's driving me crazy
I am a sociopath
Should I tell my husband?
Those who love me are killing me

My job's driving me crazy

   I was diagnosed 4 years ago with anxiety and panic disorder and was put on meds for it and take them faithfully. I see a therapist and a doctor and I am very proactive.

   I have been working at my present job for 5 years now. The work conditions just stink. Small office got to watch your back and what you do all the time. If you need help with anything the boss tells you she don't know figure it out. I have always had a great work ethic and feel that I still do. I have had to go into an outpatient therapy 4 times. I feel that it may be the job bringing out this anxiety and stress. It is even more stressful since I am the one with the health benefits. Do you think it is time for a new job.

Dear Mary,

   I've got a rule: if something works, do more of it. If it doesn't work, do something else.

   You have asked a question: should you look for a new job? But also, you've provided the answer. This job is not working for you.

   It's a fact that it's easier to find a job if you are employed than if you are not. So, I suggest you seriously seek another position before you feel you can't stand this one any more.

   Something else that hasn't been working for you is attempting to overcome anxiety and panic attacks with medications. I am not surprised. These drugs can be very useful as crutches. When you have a broken leg, crutches are great for short-term assistance. But you wouldn't want to walk with crutches for the rest of your life! You need to do something about the fracture.

   Whatever their cause, however long they've been with you, panic attacks can be defeated. To see how, go to http://anxietyanddepression-help.com/panic.html

   Anxiety is best addressed through psychotherapy. Two to eight sessions with a good psychologist will set you on the path to recovery. If your current counsellor has not helped you to achieve this, then bring up the lack of progress in the next session. Clearly, that person needs to do something differently, or you need a new therapist with a different approach.

   Finally, yes, a stressful life situation like an unpleasant workplace can lead to severe, chronic anxiety -- but it doesn't have to. The stress is an invitation to respond in a certain way. You can choose to respond differently. Suppose you find a much better job and the anxieties go away. Beauty. But what happens if something else goes wrong in your life down the track? We want to ensure that you will then handle it without panic attacks and stuff. You can, by taking charge of your life. Nowadays, my reaction tends to be: "Whatever is, is, and it's OK. Let's see what I can change about it, and I'll work at changing that. I know I can cope with whatever I cannot change."

Have a good life,
Bob


I am a sociopath

   I think I may be a sociopath with dangerous intent, I am 22 years old and this is the first time I have ever even contemplated telling anyone this.

   I have no regret, I feel nothing and I have lied to everyone for a very long time. I remember bits and pieces of my childhood but certain memoryies stick out and seem to bother me which has never bothered me in my youth, such as my mother being beat against a tile floor by her enraged mother. I am beginning to find myself looking, watching and wanting to feel more by finding alternatives in everyday life, but these alternatives seem "barbaric" in a sense although they also seem like ecstasy flowing through my veins like a tornado meeting a volcano with me in the dead center without care.

   I have so far kept myself from making a sloppy mess by avoiding the human populous in general, I have no job "but will soon" and I have had friends but they get boring and I drop them without guilt or regret. I do not even know what guilt feels like even though I want to I feel more free without it even empowered because of it. My apology's I may have gotten of point which is I think my personal interest in certain things have now evolved and I was curious as to see if you may have some advice or some trick to keep me from becoming "sloppy" so please Email me or Message me on here if you decide to talk to me, I also will not stand for idiotic answers like "Go see a therapist" "You're a nut Job" and so on.

Yours truly
A Certain Someone

My friend,

   Labels like "sociopath" are useless and harmful. They don't explain anything, and can provide an excuse.

   You have a certain pattern of thought and emotion. You built this pattern for yourself, probably as a little child, as a matter of survival in a traumatic environment. When you saw your mother being hurt, you learned to cut off painful emotions like sympathy, identification with her suffering, caring for others. This was a good thing then, because you were too small to protect her, and would have felt too devastated if you'd kept caring about her pain.

   Now, those habits of thought and emotion are strongly established. This does NOT make you a monster, or a sociopath. If you truly were a monster, you would have gone out to hurt people and become "sloppy." You have thought about it, but have so far decided not to do it. Instead, you have posted this cry for help. That says to me that you are a good person, with unacknowledged moral feelings, overlaid by the negative effects of your trauma.

   So, what you need to do is to emerge into your real nature. What kind of person would you be now if your childhood had been normal? My reading of your message is that you would be a decent guy with friends, and a connection to other people, pulling your weight in society and living a life no worse than anyone else.

   Create a vivid picture of what that guy is like. Imagine you're writing a film script and have created a character for it. Now you need to describe what that character does and doesn't do in various situations, so that a movie star can step into the role.

   What the character thinks and feels is not relevant. A movie cannot show thoughts or feelings, only actions, including words, tones of voice, bodily movements: anything a camera and microphone will pick up.

   So, at first you will continue to have the thoughts and emotions you now have. But step into role, and ACT the character you've created. That's the real you, but will feel unnatural at first because old habits feel like "second nature" and new learning feels foreign.

   That is, you need to act AS IF you were already the kind of person you want to become.

   You can do this on your own, but it's very hard work. So yes, if you go to a competent psychologist experienced with working with the effects of severe childhood trauma, then you can beat the problem faster.

   You're welcome to respond to this answer from me.

With caring,
Bob


Should I tell my husband?

   hey my name is Jill. I have been married for a year and I love my husband to death. Just recently I had a co worker kiss me and I didnt tell my husband because its not gonna happen again and I didnt want a fight at my work. What do I do: tell him or not. I want to get past this but I dont want to lose the father of my child. Please help mee!!!!!

Dear Jill,

   First, you have done nothing wrong. You are the victim of sexual harassment. I don't know the law in your State, but in most places that's a criminal act. If this man had snatched your purse, would you feel the same way?

   Second, it's not going to happen again. You are determined about that.

   Third, life is not a court of law. If you are a witness in court, you have to tell the truth, all the truth and nothing but the truth. In life, you should not tell lies, but neither should you say what's true if doing so is harmful.

   You know your husband, I don't. Some men might react to a disclosure about someone kissing their wife by blaming the victim. Clearly that's what you are afraid of. Other men react by wanting the bash the hell out of the perpetrator. That'd be bad too, because it could land your husband in trouble with the law. And some guys react with loving support, and want to be there for their lady.

   If he is the third kind of person, then tell him. If he is likely to have the first or second reaction (or both), then it's best not to. This is still being honest, but also wise.

   Let me know if this has been of use to you.

:)
Bob


Those who love me are killing me

Hi,

   I am 22 years old and I am very depressed.

   Every time I think of my parents and girl friend (whom I love a lot) I feel like committing suicide.

   I am currently pursuing my degree in engineering.

   I work at a call center to get rid of the educational loan.

   My parents and girl friend expect a lot out of me.

   They tell me about their expectations on how they would like me to buy them a big house and car.

   I am not a money minded person.

   They are turning me into one. I cannot concentrate on my studies because of these constant thoughts bothering me.

   I am devoted Christian and I know suicide is wrong but the constant thoughts are killing me.

   I hardly get to sleep as I have to go to college in the morning and work at night.

   Nobody knows how I feel and I am scared to approach anybody for help as I know nobody would understand. They would be angry and disappointed.

   Please help me.

Regards,
Jim

Jim my dear,

   First, my friend, read my essay. This will show to you that we are kindred spirits. I share your attitude to money.

   Your entire email shows you to be intelligent, thoughtful and sensitive.

   And you are right: these faults do not deserve the death sentence. When your depression urges you to kill yourself, say, "No thank you. I don't deserve the death sentence."

   You are suffering, and life feels for you as if it was intolerable. You find the reason for this in the pressure your parents and girlfriend put on you, their expectations that you are some kind of superman who is going to achieve wonders, and become a millionaire or something. And you don't share their goals for you, and I suspect you don't feel you could achieve them even if you wanted to. So, the monster "never good enough" is torturing you, right?

   Add to this the lack of sleep, no time to relax and have fun. Life is an endless round of work and study. And when you are not doing either, someone is laying their expectations on you.

   This sucks.

   Let's look at each of these in turn.

   Your girlfriend would like you to earn lots of money and buy her lots of things. This is a big negative for you.

   I assume there are also lots of positives. There must be things you like about this girl. The research on relationships is summarised at http://anxietyanddepression-help.com/relationships.html You will see there that for it to be good, you need at least 5 positives for each negative. Is that the case in your situation?

   There are two kinds of issues: problems that have a solution, and forever-differences that we need to put up with. Have a serious discussion with this young lady and tell her, straight out, that you have no desire to own a huge house with a huge mortgage, and a gas-guzzling monster of a car, and a holiday in exotic places every few months. Your heart is on different achievements, which have nothing to do with the toys most people take to be the center of their lives. Get her to read my essay too.

   Then ask her: if you are to get married, can she be happy with you if you choose a materially modest life, but one rich in other rewards? (I don't know what they are, because you didn't write about the things you do value.)

   If she says no, then kiss her good-bye, keep her for a friend, and find another girl. If she says yes, then kiss her, and keep her as a girlfriend. Either way, you'll have got her off your back about the toys like house and car and stuff.

   Now for your parents.

   There is a wonderful book: "The Prophet" by Kahil Gibran. In this, he writes:

   The parent is the bow.

   The child is the arrow.

   Aim well, draw back, and let go.

   You are 22, an adult. Lovingly tell them to let go. You will chart your own journey, and will continue to love and honor them, but you want to make your own decisions. If these prove to be mistakes, you'll learn from them. You see, every mistake is a learning opportunity. It is how we improve.

   Tell them that sometimes you may need advice, and then you will run to them for it. For the rest, please, can they let you do your own thing, your way?

   Sounds difficult? Well, it is. But there is a rule of success: "Face the fear and do it anyway."

   I sense that behind what you write may be a belief that when you care for someone, like you care for your parents and girlfriend, you must not disagree with them, must not have conflict. Is that right?

   I don't know. But let me tell you, people actually appreciate you more for being able to stand up for yourself, in a respectful and even loving way.

   If you can't do it face to face at first, maybe you can write them a well thought out, loving but firm letter. I can tell you, they are unlikely to reject you for stating your mind, or to think you crazy. Think out what you need them to know, and set it down in a caring way.

   My reading is that they want the best for you, and they are misled into believing that this is material wealth. You and I disagree with them, but it's still the case that they are acting from love. You can accept and return the love -- and ignore the advice.

   Your next problem is not enough sleep. Read my first aid document.

   This document has a recipe for getting a good rest regardless. Also, learn meditation. Ten minutes of deep inner peace is worth a couple of hours of sleep.

   Jim, one day you will look back on this phase of your life and congratulate yourself for having survived it. Think what life will be like when you are 30, and a graduate engineer, and doing good things with your time, serving God in your own way. And, you know, God never gives us a challenge without also giving us the means of meeting it. Suffering is a goad to inner growth.

   A final thought: stress is not what happens out there, but how we react to it.

With caring,
Bob


Writing

Vivid writing
Marketing to Bookstores by Elizabeth Burton

Vivid writing

   Recently, after I finished my latest book, I sent copies to various people for feedback. The one from talented writer Ron Peters is typical: "I loved your writing, especially the way you draw the reader into each scene. I felt like I was there; a participant in the action, sorrow, joy, and guilt. Your characters were amazingly realistic and human. I could see myself fitting in and participating in the storyline. Excellent job."

   Thanks to long practice, I don't make any special effort to achieve this. I just write. But I thought it would be useful for me, and for other writers, to analyse what contributes to vividness in writing. Here are my conclusions:

Invisible language

   I want the reader to get lost in the story, to the point that it's more real than reality. Any reminder that this is the reader's interpretation of written words will interfere. The rationale for this can be found at bobbing9-5.html#writing.

Showing and telling

   A common, but not quite correct exhortation is to "show not tell." Actually, there is a place for both. Creative writing is a series of scenes connected by word bridges. A scene should be shown. A word bridge should be told. Here is a word bridge:

   This is all telling, summarising a couple of days with minimal description, and only a hint of emotion. It's an efficient way of leading into the next scene:

   Here, we have enough description to allow the reader to construct the situation and its setting. We have the narrator's thoughts and reactions woven into the action, and there is immediate characterisation to start rounding out the nature of the new person. This is showing not telling, although superficially the language seems the same.

The right amount of description

   Writing is not a photograph, but more like a cartoon drawing: a few bold lines to indicate the essence of the writer's intention. Too much description is deadly: it slows action to a standstill, kills tension and glazes the eyes. Too little description leaves the story in a vacuum: the reader is unable to create the background to the action. How much is enough? The amount needed to do the job, and not one word more.

   This short paragraph is sandwiched between two action sequences. It's enough to give a sense of place, and the emotional reaction to it.

   Here is a longer bit of description, of a setting that will be central for quite a while. But note, even here the description is interweaved with thoughts and emotions.

All the senses

   There is no language for smell. All we can do is "it smells like," and need to rely on the reader's past experience with that smell. Nevertheless, olfactory description is immensely powerful in evoking reality.

   Sight and sound are obvious, but bodily sensations are equally important.

Point of view

   All these samples are very clearly from within the point of view of a particular person. His thoughts, bodily sensations, emotions and perceptions are steadily sprinkled through the prose. He is the reader's viewing instrument. Other people are described from the outside, the way he perceives them.

   This is absolutely essential, and the heart of having prose spring to life.


Marketing to Bookstores
by Elizabeth Burton

   Those already on Twitter may already be aware of a regular chat called #bookmarket, where booksellers, authors and others engaged in the business of publishing gather to discuss the ways and means of placing books in the hands of readers.

   The 8/5/2010 session featured three top bookstores, including Tattered Cover in Denver, and their representatives discussed how small press and self-published authors can work with independent bookstores to everyone's benefit.

   There wasn't anything terribly new expressed, at least if you've been reading my various posts here on the subject, but I thought it might add a little weight to my ranting if you heard it from the people you're going to be asking to carry your book.

Introducing your book

   The first thing they all said should be engraved on everyone's forehead by now: *Do your homework.* Don't blitz every bookstore for a hundred-mile radius with a copy of your book and/or PR materials without any regard for what kind of books they sell. More important, you need to do your best to find out who the correct contact person is.

   Tattered Cover, for example, has a staff person whose specific job is to work with local and regional authors. Some bookstores include guidelines on their websites about how they want local and regional authors to submit PR materials.

   Expect any PR materials addressed to the bookstore or "Dear Bookseller" to be ignored. How often do you respond to junk mail addressed to "Dear Occupant?" Nuff said.

   Don't waste your money on postcards and bookmarks and similar tschotchkes. Booksellers are swamped by this kind of stuff from mainstream publishing. If you feel the need to send something tangible, make it unique. If you can make it something that coordinates with your book, all the better.

   Speak with booksellers face-to-face whenever possible, but don't just barge in waving your book. Call or send an email first, and ask when it would be convenient for you to drop by.

   If it isn't possible, your contact should be as personal as possible. If the bookstore has staff reviews on their website, read them to see if any of their staff likes the same kind of book you've written.

   If you can manage to go to the bookstore in person, don't ignore their staff. Introduce yourself, get to know them. If the store has shelf cards with staff recommendations, read them. For indie bookstores, it's not just about selling books. It's about relationships as well. Develop one.

   Many bookstores now host and/or sponsor reading groups. Some encourage those groups to include local and regional authors. Develop a book group study guide for your book and offer it to the bookstore as not just a printed sheet but as a digital file they can place on their website for download.

   Never, ever, mention Amazon, your ranking on Amazon, your reviews on Amazon--well, you get the idea. For indie bookstores, Amazon is the Great Satan. It would probably be politic not to mention Barnes & Noble, either. As for ebooks, the most diplomatic route is to mention your book has done well in that format but that you're anxious to make it an even bigger success in print. Author events

   Be prepared. If you want a bookstore to schedule an author event for you, bring a list of contacts you'll be getting in touch with to promote it. Vague offers to contact family and friends isn't enough. Provide them with a current photo (*not* a snapshot) and a synopsis of your book they can place on their website and/or use in advertising.

   Think of ways to be entertaining. You might get a hundred people out to hear Stephen King read from his latest, but the rest of us need to come up with something interesting to attract an audience. If you have a children's book, think coloring pages and games. For that matter, if you have an adult novel a word game or something like it wouldn't be a bad idea. If you have a neat hobby or field of expertise, can it be incorporated into your presentation?

   Another option, which we've also discussed, is having more than one author at an event. If you can turn it into a readathon, maybe even raising money for a local charity, all the better.

   Posters are one exception to the don't-waste-money rule. While not every bookstore will have space to display them, the booksellers at #bookmarket said they do make nice giveaways--and should you be lucky enough to run out of books they're a nice backup for signing, too.

   Talk up other authors' books. If they happen to be your fellow Zumayans, all the better; most of you know I've urged you for years to become familiar with the books in your genre in the Zumaya catalog for just this purpose. However, by discussing other authors' work, you dilute the sense that you're there to sell a product, and I've seen it happen over and over that if a potential reader discovers you like the same books he or she does, they are likely to buy yours.

   Bring food. Seriously. I'm told cupcakes are a preference. Most booksellers will offer refreshments at an author event, and if you pitch in or provide it you'll be very popular. It doesn't have to cost a fortune. For less than $100 and a Costco membership, you can offer little croissant sandwiches, cupcakes and fruit and veggies for 20-30 people, if you don't want to do it yourself.

   As you see, it's all really courtesy and common sense. Booksellers are becoming more flexible as the industry in general falls further into flux. It's time for us to take advantage of it.

Elizabeth K. Burton


What my friends want you to know

Help with some environmental psychology research
10 years to do it: new book from Michael Larocca
Bainstorming
Ecopsychology journal
Carolyn at free online conference

Help with some environmental psychology research

Peak experiences in nature: Implications for wellbeing and environmental behaviour.

   Recent literature and research suggests that positive experiences in nature may influence our long-term mental health and environmental behaviours. Researchers at Monash University are keen to investigate this relationship further by examining the relationship between peak experiences in nature, psychological wellbeing, and environmental behaviour. This study has potential implications for environmental conservation and counselling psychology.

   We are currently seeking participants over the age of 18 to complete an online survey which takes less than twenty minutes to complete. Participants are not required to have had any significant experiences in nature in order to participate. At the end of the questionnaire, participants may also choose to take part in an interview.

   If you wish to participate or find out more about the study, please follow this link: www.surveymonkey.com/s/peaknature

   For more information about this study please contact the student researcher Tristan Snell at tristan.snell@monash.edu.

   End date: 31 May 2011


10 years to do it: new book from Michael Larocca

   It took me ten years to do it, but there is a sequel to VIGILANTE JUSTICE. Published in January 2011, Gary Drake returns in LAZARUS. http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/lazarus/14685413 hypes the paperback pretty prominently, but the ebook link is off to the right if you prefer.


Bainstorming

   The January Bainstorming Blog is now live at http://www.darrellbain.com.

   Subjects this month: Special Note, Betty's Book, A simple remote, Building love, Progress report, Two faces, I don't get it, Book report, Time Change damage, Banks and lending, Tonto, Dream Act, No tips, Excerpt from Warp Point.

Darrell Bain
Fictionwise Author of the Year
Multiple Dream Realm and Eppie awards
See all my books at http://www.darrellbain.com


Ecopsychology journal

   Ecopsychology is a high-quality, peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Associates. If you are interested in the fascinating intersect between the environment and psychology, you must look it up.

   Two volumes have been published so far, containing 75 articles. There is an open access option.


Carolyn at free online conference

   Writers, editors, agents, and other publishing professionals from around the world are gearing up for the free fourth annual Catholic Writers' Conference Online, featuring veteran presenters like Carolyn Howard-Johnson, multi-award winning novelist, poet and book marketer.

   The online conference will run from March 21 to 27, 2011 and is sponsored by the Catholic Writer's Guild. It is free and open to writers of all levels who register before March 1. Writers needn't be Catholic. It is conducted in an online forum at http://www.catholicwritersconference.com.

   Workshops and live online chats cover the gamut of writing topics from idea generation to marketing a published novel; traditional and self-publishing, article writing and fiction, and much more. In addition, prominent Catholic publishers will hear pitches, giving authors an unprecedented opportunity to chat personally regardless of their ability to travel.

   The Catholic conferences draw hundreds of participants and more than scores of editors and writing professionals. Conference organizer Karina Fabian says, "Even in good economic times, it's hard for writers to attend live conferences, but this year, we think it's even more important to help careers by utilizing an online format. We're so grateful that our presenters are willing to share their time and talent."

   Previous publishers considering pitches have included well known Catholic and secular publishers like Pauline, large Christian publishers like Thomas Nelson, and smaller presses like White Rose. This year, Fabian hopes to add some agents as well.

   The conference features presenters from all aspects of the publishing world. Howard-Johnson is the author of the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally books for writers including The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. She is also an instructor for UCLA Extension Writers' Program.

   Carolyn will present on How writers (including fiction writers) can make Twitter work for them. Twitter can drive traffic to blogs, Web sites and other social networks. She says, "Twitter can even sell books!"

   Although the conference is offered at no charge, donations are accepted; proceeds go toward future conferences. To register or for more information, go to http://www.catholicwritersconference.com.


Reviews

Green Deen
Love For No Reason

Green Deen, by Ibrahim Abdul-Matin
reviewed by Safa S

   Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet, written by a Muslim-born policy advisor in the New York City's Mayor's Office, the connection between faith and environmentalism is not only apparent, but also fundamental in understanding the relationship we have between the personal and environmental/communal.

   Green Deen is not so much a book about Islam as it is a book about environmental living and policy from a Muslim perspective. Its message and practical applications are really nothing new. What sets it apart is its Islamic perspective, which gives a breath of fresh air to the portrayal of one of today's most misunderstood religions.

   In a time when many associate Islam with terrorism and oil, not many understand the long history of environmentalism that is inherent in the Qua'ran and Islamic teachings. Practicing Muslims are taught to look at themselves as stewards of the Earth. As Green Deen's author, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin wrote, "The Earth is a mosque." He starts the book by defining the word Deen not as a religion, but as a "way of life" in Arabic, a system of living and interpreting the world as a way to arrive at peace with it. Add the color green to it, and Green Deen was written as a practical approach to merge personal faith with the common cause of environmentalism:

   "Green Deen means understanding that God created us directly from the Earth and that we must do all that we can to take care of it, protect it, and manage all of its bounty in a sustainable way."

   From his perspective, everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, can create a green Deen because everyone can contribute to how we take care of the Earth in our public and private lives.

   Green Deen is organized into four parts: Waste, Watts, Water, and Food. As Abdul-Matin explains, these are four components central to defining how well societies function:

   "Waste management and energy delivery is essential to the every day functioning of a city or society. Water and food is vital to the survival of humanity."

   Abdul-Matin argues "over-consumption and [targeted] corporate abuse is the problem. Both capitalism and socialism define your value as a human being on what you can make or create or destroy or waste or consume." Inherent in each section -- Waste, Watts, Water, and Food -- are six Islamic teachings that are central to living a Green Deen:

   Tawhid (Oneness): the understanding that everything comes from Allah / God / Supreme Being. To those who don't believe in God, this can be less about religion or spirituality and more about the idea that "everything emanates from the same source... the universe is aglow with continuity" and of interconnectedness and continuity among all living things and their systems / environments.

   Ayat (Sign): the ability to see everything in the natural world as a sign of Allah / God / Supreme Being / interconnectedness.

   Khalifah (Steward): the responsibility we have to protecting the natural world and managing it in a sustainable way.

   Amana (Trust): the duty we have to acting as stewards of the natural world. Just like we can destroy the Earth more than any other creatures, we can also take care of it with a certain diligence that doesn't exist in the animal kingdom.

   Adl (Justice): simply, treating the world with justice, first by recognizing that humans have a negative impact on Earth, and then by reducing that impact as much as possible.

   Mizan (Balance): understanding that the world exists in a natural balance, which thrown off by pollution, consumption, exploitation, etc., needs to be restored.

   While some of quotations that Abdul-Matin sources from the Qua'ran can be a little far-reaching, the great strength of this book is not so much that, but the practical application and examples he brings up as to how anyone, regardless of faith, can incorporate environmental balance into their daily lives. The arguments can easily be applied to other faiths, and each one asks people to assess their own relationship with environmentalism with questions such as "How do you relate to trash, to waste, to consumption?" With regard to energy consumption, Abdul-Matin creatively divides it between sustainable resources -- solar and wind -- as "Energy from Heaven" and traditional sources -- gas, coal, oil -- as "Energy from Hell." He also uses the Prophetic tradition of eating from the plate closest to you to support his argument for buying and eating local produce.

   Of particular note is that Abdul-Matin's examples of actively green Muslims all take place on the American continent, which speaks volumes to show that Islam can be an American and Western lifestyle, separate from political discourses and struggles in the Middle East. When asked about the book's lack of focus on American reliance on the Middle East for fossil fuels, he replied, "That's a deep part of our Muslim tradition that we need to move away from. But I'm not from Saudi Arabia. I'm American, and I wanted to speak to my own people." Abdul-Matin describes it as the first "post-9/11" book about Muslims, meaning it doesn't mention that day, the War on Terror, and what it all means for American Muslims today. Rather, he wanted to write a book that looks at practicing Muslims past 9/11 and working to contribute to a common American cause.

   The book reads easily, and it offers something to readers on all levels of Islamic and environmental knowledge, be it a discussion of the basics or insights and advice for looking at the two in new ways. It doesn't offer all the answers; instead it "was designed to be the first step in this conversation, and my hope is that much more qualified scholars will join in and take this further. To see if we can be a force for good- an example to ourselves first and foremost."

   If you would like to attend a Green Deen event, check out the book's website. For ongoing information on Green Muslim groups, check out the blog.

http://www.care2.com/causes/environment/blog/green-deen-what-islam-teaches-about-protecting-the-planet/


Love For No Reason:7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love
by Marci Shimoff
reviewed by Steve Bhaerman

Well, Marci Shimoff has done it again.

   She has created another brilliant, deep, well-written book filled with inspiration and practical information, and she did it by NOT taking my advice. In the wake of her highly successful "Happy For No Reason," I told her she had a goldmine in an entire series of books that could rival the "Chicken Soup" books.

   "Sure 'Happy' was probably the most popular of the Seven Dwarves," I told her. "But what if there was a book for each of the dwarves ... 'Sleepy For No Reason' ... 'Sneezy for No Reason' ... 'Dopey for No Reason?'" By the time we got to "Grumpy," I had her firmly convinced not to go that route.

   Instead, she wisely went with her heart ... and the new book is called "Love For No Reason," and seriously ... it's good!

   This is a book not just about attracting romantic love, but about cultivating the power of love as an internal force that "warms" you from the inside out. Love For No Reason: 7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love, Marci offers a revolutionary step-by-step program to live in a profound state of unconditional love EVERY DAY of your life. The kind of love that wells up from deep within and doesn't depend on another person, situation, or romantic partner.

   This simple, holistic program-based on current scientific research, ancient wisdom, proven techniques, and Marci's interviews with 150 Love Luminaries-will make you a magnet for love.

   AND if you buy Love for No Reason TODAY, you'll receive The Love for No Reason Gift Package as a BONUS-this includes a powerful recording to remove your blocks to love, audio interviews with famous Love Luminaries, a 5-minute daily love practice, practical e-books, and much more!

   If you're ready to take a giant leap in your experience of love, then this book is for you. Click here: http://www.thelovebook.com


Have a laugh

A law against farting?

   Two of Malawi's most senior judicial officials are arguing over whether a new bill includes a provision that outlaws breaking wind in public.

   Justice Minister George Chaponda says the new bill would criminalise flatulence to promote "public decency".

   "Just go to the toilet when you feel like farting," he told local radio.

   However, he was directly contradicted by Solicitor General Anthony Kamanga, who says the reference to "fouling the air" means pollution.

   "How any reasonable or sensible person can construe the provision to criminalising farting in public is beyond me," he said, adding that the prohibition contained in the new law has been in place since 1929.

   The Local Courts Bill, to be introduced next week reads: "Any person who vitiates the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the public to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighbourhood or passing along a public way shall be guilty of a misdemeanour."

   Mr Chaponda, a trained lawyer, insists that this includes farting.

   "Would you be happy to see people farting anyhow?" he asked on the popular "Straight Talk" programme on Malawi's Capital Radio.

   He said that local chiefs would deal with any offenders.

   When asked whether it could be enforced, he said it would be similar to laws banning urinating in public.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12363852


About Bobbing Around

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    Submission Guidelines

       It is a FALSE RUMOUR that you need to buy one of my books before your submission is accepted. Not that I cry when someone does so.

       Above all, contributions should be brief. I may shorten them if necessary.

       Content should be non-discriminatory, polite and relevant. Announcements should be 100 to 200 words, shorter if possible. Book reviews, essays and stories should be at the very most 500 words, poems up to 30 lines.

       Author bios should be about 50 words, and if possible include a web address.